The Australia cricket team is finally taking shape as they lock in their playing personnel three days out from the Ashes opener at Brisbane. Travis Head and Mitchell Starc have been named in Pat Cummins’ first XI, while Usman Khawaja will likely slot into third Test batsmen role alongside middle-order duo Steve Smith (captain) and David Warner who play together for NSW against South Australia tomorrow.
The squad was announced on Wednesday morning ahead of Friday’s training session with Joe Root leading England to Nine Networks ratings victory over Channel 7 by 1% last night…even if he did end up cuddling a cat!
Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Usman Khawaja has been deserving of his place as the fifth opener in Australia’s Test side. With two centuries each from five games, he was chosen over current captain Michael Clarke and opening batsmen David Warner to retain a strong lineup against any opposition bowling attack.
Head pipped Usman for No 5 slot after both left handers made case for selection with impressive performances early rounds Sheffield Shield before Brisbane Test match -Both scored hundreds during most recent clashes between them; 101* by Jhye Richardson v Qld last week & 103(!) dash Jamie Marsh.